Translator (Retainer)

  • Senior-level, Part-time staff position
  • Posted on 26 February 2021

Job Description

Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.

Diversity

With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.


Background Information - Job-specific

Preamble

These Terms of Reference (ToR) describe the tasks of the Consultant[1] necessary for the execution of the services. However, this list of tasks and activities can by no means be considered as the complete and comprehensive description of the Consultant’s duties.

It is rather the Consultant’s responsibility to thoroughly study the ToR and the scope of services. The Consultant should critically review the fields of action and ideas outlined below and develop an appropriate proposal, including necessary adjustments and modifications on the basis of own professional judgements and experience in similar projects.

The Consultant has to take into account the general situation in the country and in the Project area and particularly the conditions and constraints related to infrastructure, accessibility, transport, accommodation, administration and security.

Above all, the Consultant should keep in mind the obligation to follow the most efficient approach, the need to strictly maintain the time schedule of the submission of the deliverables and the scope of the proposed consultancy budget. It is understood that the Consultant should perform all work necessary to fulfil the objectives of the Project.

1. General Background

1.1 Country background

Jordan is a stable country in a troubled region. It is a small economy with no sizeable oil or gas resources and a population of 10.2 million in 2020 (UNFPA data). This represents a rapid increase from the 9.5 million according to the latest national census 2015, mainly due to the influx of refugees from neighbouring crisis-affected countries, particularly Iraq and Syria. The number of Syrian refugees in Jordan is estimated at around 0.662 million registered as of July 2019, with the total number of Syrians (including non-refugees) standing at 1.266 million, according to the 2015 Population and Housing Census.

Jordan is classified as an upper middle-income country, but with a widening gap in income distribution. The real GDP growth increased modestly from 1.9% in 2018 to 2.2% in 2019, and it was projected to grow further to 2.4% in 2020 amid the regional instability. While the effects of the global pandemic are yet to be measured, the positive impact of the falling oil prices and reduction of energy prices might slightly offset its impact. In 2020, inflation remained under 1%, but it is expected to rise to 2.5% in the coming years. While the Government of Jordan (GoJ) has proven its commitment to enacting policies leading to macroeconomic stability, the current global pandemic will likely lead to deterioration of the macroeconomic situation in the country, causing the already high levels of unemployment to rise and thus impeding on the projected growth of the economy.

Public expenditures grew by 5.5% in 2019, as current expenditures increased by 4.6%, while capital expenditures increased below expectations by only 13%. As a result, the general budget deficit (after grants) reached 3.9% of GDP in 2019 compared to 2.4% in 2018. Public debt reached around JOD 30.1 billion by the end of 2019, or 97% of GDP, compared to 94.4%t at the end of 2018.

Given the population growth, the total number of households falling under the absolute poverty line has actually increased. Moreover, while incidence of poverty is higher in rural areas (16.8%) compared to urban areas (13.9%), there are in fact vastly greater numbers of poor in urban areas (80%) compared to rural areas (20%). This means significant regional disparities persist: the benefits of growth have been concentrated mainly in the capital and a few large cities. Jordan’s economic participation rates are among the lowest globally, with only 35-40% of the population above the age of 15 years economically active and one of the lowest employment-to-population ratios. Merely 14% of women participate in the labour force, in comparison to 65% of men.

Jordan is currently facing difficult economic and social challenges. Growth rates have declined, and unemployment rates are high. With the official unemployment rate standing at 19% (2019), Jordan’s official youth unemployment rate hovers around 33% (22% for males and 40% for females), while 85% of Jordanian women (in all age groups) are not participating in the labour force. The lack of economic opportunities for youth, and regional inequalities within Jordan, are a major threat to social cohesion. Combined with the high influx of refugees the situation is even more challenging.

As in all countries, the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is significantly impacting on the education system. On 14 March 2020, the GoJ announced that all Ministries, all schools, kindergartens and universities (private and public) were closed on 15 March 2020, involving 2.37 million learners. Schools only re-opened for short periods and have remained fully closed as from mid-September 2020. As of February 2021, the government has partially reopened schools (only grades: 1, 2, 3 and 12) and there are plans for a full reopening of schools for all grades depending on the health situation and the number of reported Coronavirus cases. Interruptions to education particularly affected the most vulnerable, including weaker students and students in the camps who hardly have any access to electronic learning alternatives through the Darsak learning platform established by MoE. Generally, access to Darsak outside the urban centres is challenging and not affordable to poorer households who also do not own the necessary hardware such as tablets or smartphones.

1.2 Background on the education sector

The GoJ has reaffirmed its commitment to progress in the education sector in three key policy documents: the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) 2018-2020, the Education Strategic Plan 2018-2022 (ESP) and the MoE programme Impact of Syria Crisis on Education in Jordan and Accelerating Access to Quality Formal Education for Syrian Refugee Children (“Accelerating Access Initiative [AAI])” 2016-19 (extended until the end of 2020). A second phase of the AAI has been launched by MoE in November 2020 and specifically includes activities to improve the overall safety of schools.

The JRP lays out the development and humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis, with Education being the largest sector of the JRP. It is currently under revision for its implementation even beyond 2020. The AAI remains one of the Government’s main guiding strategy documents with key relevance also for ensuring safe school environments conducive to quality teaching and learning. Under its second phase, AAI is now focussing on (i) institutionalising the Ma’an Safe Learning Environment Programme; (ii) activating a Safe School Council with community participation; (iii) implementing the Tarbiyah programme, a training programme to equip teachers with skills and attitudes for non-violent alternatives to class management and the use of positive disciplinary and instructional skills; and the implementation the Family-School Partnership Programme, a participatory and inquiry-based parent education programme.

In March 2018, MoE launched the Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2018-2022, which is tightly linked to the Human Resource Development Strategy (HRD) 2016-2025. The ESP works towards the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 4 (inclusive, equitable and quality education). Being the key policy document for the entire education sector, the ESP 2018-2022 includes a comprehensive set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This represents a major achievement not only in terms of effective policy development and strategic planning, but also echoes MoE’s commitment to thorough monitoring including the assessment of quality education delivery.


[1] Throughout the ToR, the term “Consultant“ can refer to a single consultant or a team of two consultants (preferred). In the case of two consultants, the team leader should be an international expert, according to the expertise further described in Section 5 of the ToR.

Functional Responsibilities

Scope of the Assignment

2.1 Specific work

The Consultant is expected to provide written translation services - from English to Arabic, and vice versa - on an on-call basis for the PMU. The target audience for the translated content will include government agencies (such as the MoE), as well as, other stakeholders relating to the PMU. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

(i) Producing high quality written translation services from English to Arabic and Arabic to English for internal and external purposes of the PMU. The type of content will include annual reports, monthly and quarterly reports, project documents, policy recommendation reports and analyses, government reports, surveys, expert reports, etc.

(ii) Ensuring that all translated text is technically, linguistically and grammatically correct, error free and meets high quality of standards. Additionally, the translator needs to make sure there are no omissions from the source, translating and proofreading all footnotes and/or endnotes, captions under photographs, lists, etc. Finally, translations need to be accurate, exact and use terms and definitions agreed upon by UN agencies and the Government of Jordan.

(iii) Terminology research: (i.e. on UNTERM and other relevant terminology portals) to find the closest equivalents for words use and consult UN/UNOPS style guides to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of all translations.

(iv) Make translated documents as user-friendly as possible for Arabic/English speakers.

(v) Follow through quality check and proofreading of translation; ensuring that no typographical
errors are left in the final text.

(vi) The translation submitted under this TOR is the property of UNOPS and cannot be submitted,
distributed to or used by any other party, unless arranged otherwise.

(vii) All translations submitted are subject to change or revision at any time by the UNOPS team.

(viii) The translator is obligated to work within the required deadlines and be available for comments
and corrections.

Timeline:

The expected starting date of the assignment is March 2021 - or as soon as possible. The assignment end date is 31 December 2021. There is no specific schedule for requests for translation by the UNOPS team and all requests will be on an ad hoc basis. The expected level of effort is 80 working days.

Competencies
Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above) Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.

Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles. Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role). Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries. Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements. Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving. Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground. Functional competencies

● Knowledge of KfW’s key policies and German financial cooperation (FC) principles in the area of
education would be an advantage.

● Excellent writing skills in Arabic and English.

● Ability to translate with a high standard of accuracy and faithfulness to the spirit, style and nuances of the
original text

● Knowledge of international affairs.

● Ability to master new subjects quickly.

● Political sensitivity.

● A high level of concentration and attention to detail.

● Ability to meet tight deadlines and maintain required productivity without compromising quality.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

Qualifications and Experience

The Consultant to be contracted needs to match the criteria listed below. In the case of a multi-person team, the specific team members suggested in the proposal need to have the minimum educational and professional experience listed below.

a. Education

● A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s) in translation, interpreting, linguistics, writing,
communications, journalism, international relations, or a degree in a relevant technical field. A Master’s
degree in translation & interpreting or related fields will be considered an asset.

b. Work Experience

● At least 4 years of professional experience, with a proven record of having been involved in previous
translation/simultaneous interpretation work experience with local government, UN agencies/NGOs,
major international organizations as well as with private sector client.

Particular experience in the field of education will be an asset.

● Previous experience with the UN/UN agencies is desirable.

● Experience in Jordan is required.

c. Language

Fluency in Arabic and English language is required. Contract type, level and duration
  1. Contract type: Retainer
  2. Contract level Local ICA Specialist LICA 9
  3. Contract duration : Ongoing ICA – ‘Open-ended, subject to organizational requirements, availability of funds and satisfactory performance.’

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:
https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx

Additional Considerations
  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • This position is open to Nationals ONLY.
  • Amman is a UN Family Duty Station.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • For retainer contracts, you must complete a few Mandatory Courses (around 4 hours) in your own time, before providing services to UNOPS.
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

About the Organization


Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.

Diversity

With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

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